Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Macbeth book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are some literary devices found in Macbeth, act 3 (scene 4)?

Expert Answers info

Felicita Burton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write5,474 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In describing his reactions to learning that Fleance has escaped, Macbeth uses similes and metaphors. A simile is a comparison for effect using “like” or “as,” while a metaphor is a direct comparison. Using similes, he compares himself to two kinds of stone, saying he is as “whole as the marble, [and] founded as the rock.” He then uses several metaphors about confinement to describe his feelings: “now I am cabin'd, cribb'd, confined, bound in. ...” This phrase also uses alliteration, the repetition of initial consonant sounds. Omitting the conjunctions between the words, the device called asyndeton, suggests he is rushed or anxious, and the hard “K” sound in those words emphasizes the harshness of his emotion.

Lady Macbeth also uses metaphor in describing the desired environment at the dinner party, noting that “the sauce to meat is ceremony”: if people just ate a simple meal without a pleasant atmosphere, it would be dull. After her husband reacts to seeing Banquo ’s ghost,...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 910 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write10,900 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Olen Bruce eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write4,269 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write4,625 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History




check Approved by eNotes Editorial